A federal bill that bans workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (transgender protections) won't see a vote in the House in the near term, gay weekly The Washington Blade reported.

Both houses of Congress held hearings on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) last fall. Democrats linked to the legislation have tended to over-promise and under-deliver on the legislation which stubbornly remains locked up in committees.

On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the vote won't take place until after Congress completes legislative action on repealing “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993 law that forbids gay service members from revealing their sexuality. Language that repeals the law was tucked inside next year's Defense Authorization Bill with the help of only five House Republicans. GOP lawmakers united in an attempt to defeat repeal of the gay ban by overwhelmingly voting against the defense bill.

“ENDA is a personal priority for me,” the San Francisco lawmaker said, “and I [understand] the focus for that, but because the defense bill came up now, we did 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' first. But we want to finish that.”

Congress historically finishes work on the budget in the fall.

In discussing the bill's viability, Pelosi suggested it faces a far steeper incline than previously believed.

“It's nothing to take for granted in terms of nine Republicans voted for the defense authorization bill,” she said.

An upsurge of opposition against the bill from Republicans has already materialized. In May, Representative John Campbell, a California Republican who voted for a similar measure in 2007, told the Boston Globe that this year's version, which includes transgender protections, “pushes the envelope too far.”

And support from moderate Democrats also appears to be on the wane.

The chief whip of the Blue Dogs, Representative Heath Shuler of North Carolina, said that asking House members to vote on a trans-inclusive bill during an election year would be “a mistake.”

The delay spells trouble for the legislation. Conventional wisdom suggests Democratic leaders will follow Shuler's advice and shelve ENDA until after the General Election, in which many analysts expect Democrats to lose seats to Republicans, further eroding support for the bill.